Data Changes Due Sept. 3 for Use in Updating Medicare Area Wage Index

Posted on July 26, 2019

All written requests for changes to hospitals’ wage and occupational mix data must be received by the Medicare Administrative Contractor by close of business Sept. 3. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will use this data in developing the Medicare area wage index for fiscal year (FY) 2021, which begins Oct. 1, 2020. For the FY 2021 index, the CMS is using data from hospital cost reports that began during federal FY 2017 (Oct. 1, 2016 – Sept. 30, 2017) and the 2016 occupational mix survey.

Hospitals are encouraged to review their preliminary data that the CMS released in May, since a small change can have a significant impact on Medicare payments. This is due to the use of the wage index for adjusting payments for inpatient, outpatient and all post-acute care services to reflect geographic variations in labor costs.

On June 19, the MHA hosted an educational webinar with representatives from the consulting firm Comprehensive Reimbursement Inc. to provide the latest information regarding CMS interpretations and guidelines. Materials and a recording from the webinar are available online.

The MHA will provide hospitals with updated comparative data following the next CMS data release. The release is expected in late January 2020, based on the CMS time table. Members with questions should contact Vickie Kunz at the MHA.

Tags: Medicare, webinar, occupational mix survey, wage index

Posted in: Member News

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